by improving education and training
of public health professionals
for both practice and research
The Institute of Public Health, University of Porto October Newsletter
HUMAN RIGHTS IN PATIENT CARE (HRPC): STRENGTHENING TEACHING, RESEARCH & LEADERSHIP
Although health care settings should be places of care, often they are places of human rights violations, particularly for society's most marginalized. Additionally, health care providers are unable to provide patients with good care unless their rights are also respected and they enjoy professional independence.
The concept of 'human rights in patient care' (HRPC) provides a useful framework for addressing these issues. It refers to the application of general human rights principles to patient care, including rights and responsibilities of patients and health care providers. It recognizes the interrelation of patient and provider rights as well as health care providers' often- conflicting obligations to patients and the state. It focuses attention on systemic issues, discrimination, social exclusion, and state responsibility. Deriving from universal and inherent human dignity, it is rooted in human rights norms and jurisprudence. HRPC is closely related to, but distinct from, the right to health, patients' rights, patient safety, and bioethics.
Since 2007, the Open Society Foundations and partners have piloted the use of HRPC to address inequalities and violations of human rights in health and health care in10 countries of Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Building upon that work, the new ASPHER HRPC Network will expand and deepen HRPC in the European Region.